Laura Meehl chosen as winner on Gila Idol callback night

SAFFORD – A large crowd gathered Thursday night at the Plank in Safford in anticipation and excitement to see who would be moving on to the Gila Idol finals that will be held at the David M. Player Center for the Arts, March 22nd, at 7:00 p.m.

To start the evening, the group was serenaded with a song sung by Cindy Anaya, who was also a judge in the evening’s competition. The other judges included Darren Kamae, and Adam Crohn.

There were a total of 17 contestants performing during the evening’s competition. Just one was selected as a contestant in the final competition. The judges had a tough time deciding but ultimately, Laura Meehl won the single slot available as a contestant for the finale. In addition to securing a spot as a contestant in the finale, Meehl also won the $100 drawing between all the contestants for the evening.

Alternates: Heidi Bolen, Rachel Clark, Bethany Artman, Rian Kumlien

The judges also selected four alternates – Rian Kumlien, Bethany Artman, Rachel Clark, and Heidi Bolen. The next step in the competition will be to narrow the pool of alternates down to the last contestant for the finale. The community will be able to cast votes for the alternates on over the next week. The alternate with the most votes will become the final contestant.

So far, the finalists include:

Connor Hanson
Izzy Alder
Morgan Miller
Jerica Young
Shayla Smith
Holly Shumway
Hannah Bradley
Harley Overton
Madeline Kamae
Jamie Tellez
Bre Hancock
Gene Willey
Hamilton Bolen
Elizabeth Miller
Ashley Clement
Kendra Smith
Pete McCormick
Lacey Bryce
Laura Meehl

The final contestant will be selected from the pool of alternates. Twenty contestants will compete for the grand prize and the title of 2018 Gila Valley Idol on March 22 at the David M. Player Center for the Arts.